Elliot passed suddenly from a work accident. He loved trains since he was a toddler and made it his career. Unfortunately, it was his love of trains that took his life.
“She’s seeing someone, and he’s a special someone, and she needs to know that it’s okay. She’s still young and she needs to have a life.”
Annie began to cry. “Are you sure he’s okay with this? Because the kids, our parents, and even our friends – well, they aren’t okay with this. They think I’m broken and I should stay broken.”
It was just short of a year after Elliot’s passing when Annie met Trent. Her family, concerned, told her it was too soon, but there was something special about Trent and they immediately bonded. Trent had lost his wife to cancer just a few months before Annie lost Elliot. But it was more than just death they had in common, and they felt like their partners had helped them find one another. Instead of being happy for them, though, their family was horrified. They didn’t want to lose their family, but they also didn’t want to lose one another. It’s a predicament so often seen in my office.Pain shows up in our lives to look at what needs to change, but so often we assume the pain is there to punish us and it makes us stop in our tracks and wallow in our self-pity. Really it is telling us to move. To push through. To go do something else. Be somewhere else. And sometimes be with someone else. It screams that the timing isn’t right, but it doesn’t mean that the timing will always be wrong. This minute, hour, day, week, month of your life is worth more effort than wallowing or shelving the dreams because it’s making someone else uncomfortable. Many want change, but not make the effort to set goals or start taking small steps to get there, or to accept the changes that others are making. Annie and Trent eventually sat down with their families in order to make them feel more comfortable with their intentions. Instead of being passive, they were straight forward with their feelings towards one another and their spouses on the other side. They too were still grieving, but they were working with one another on the grief. Neither was a replacement for the other.
If you are in the midst of change, know that not everyone will follow or be on board. It’s okay because it’s your journey – not theirs. Your growth forces others to think that they need to grow too – and it’s scary for them. But be you. Do you. Shine and bloom and focus forward.